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HERBERT, George


Death

Death, thou wast once an uncouth hideous thing,

Nothing but bones,

The sad effect of sadder groans:

Thy mouth was open, but thou couldst not sing.

But since our Savior's death did put some blood

Into thy face,

Thou art grown fair and full of grace,

Much in request, much sought for as a good.

Therefore we can die as sleep, and trust

Half that we have

Unto an honest faithful grave;

Making our pillows either down, or dust.


Easter Wings

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store, 

      Though foolishly he lost the same, 

            Decaying more and more, 

                  Till he became 

                        Most poore: 

                        With thee 

                  O let me rise 

            As larks, harmoniously, 

      And sing this day thy victories: 

Then shall the fall further the flight in me. 

My tender age in sorrow did beginne 

      And still with sicknesses and shame. 

            Thou didst so punish sinne, 

                  That I became 

                        Most thinne. 

                        With thee 

                  Let me combine, 

            And feel thy victorie: 

         For, if I imp my wing on thine, 

Affliction shall advance the flight in me. 



The Altar